Don’t Judge a Book…

We’ve all heard it. Don’t judge a book by its cover. And yet we all do it anyway. We DO judge books by their covers! Whether we think we do or not.

Whenever I hear this phrase, my mind immediately goes to a particular book. Which book?

The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery (of Anne of Green Gables fame).

bluecastle.jpgI probably first read it when I was about 11 or 12 years old. This was the copy at our local library… (see image to your right.)

It was really and truly the UGLIEST book cover I had ever seen. It was so ugly, I did NOT want to read this book. So what if was by my favourite author!

Ugh! That cover.

But then, somehow, I did bring the book home.

And I did read it.

And… Well…

I loved it.

And you know what? Years later, my friends and I were discussing this book. (We all love this book!) And we discovered that we ALL had the same experience. (Being from the same small town, we all went to the same library.) We all hated the cover of this book! And we all didn’t want to read the book BECAUSE of the ugly, ugly cover. And finally, we all did read the book, in spite of the cover. And we all fell in love with it.

P.S. Now I look at the book cover and think to myself, it’s not quite as ugly as I remember. In fact, it’s bringing back fond memories. Nostalgic memories. I’m finding I rather like this book cover… now.

Do you consider the book cover above to be ugly? Would you pick it up to read? Let me know in the comments!

How about THESE covers? Which one catches your eye? (I really like the simplicity of the first one!)


BONUS: Have you read The Blue Castle? If so, feel free to gush about it in the comments!

P.S. The photo at the top of this blog post is my first-edition, hard back copy of The Blue Castle. Which I love! It’s falling apart, but that is partly what gives it its charm. (And there’s a bit of a story of how I got it. But perhaps that’s for a future post…)


27 thoughts on “Don’t Judge a Book…

  1. I thought I had read all of L. M. Montgomery’s books, but I had never heard of this one. I will have to get it. Of the covers you’ve shown, I really like the middle of the three on the bottom. But the one you thought was ugly is just plain ugly. I can’t imagine why they ever made that one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope you get a chance to read it. It is one of Montgomery’s novels for “adults”… But it definitely has some fairy tale elements. It also has some classic L.M.M. moments, especially with regards to Valancy’s family. (Also, in some ways it reminds me of Jane Austen’s Persuasion.)

      RE: Ugly cover. I know, right?!

      Yes, the middle one (of the three) is really nice. I wish these covers had existed when I was a kid.


    • Ooh, I envy you the experience of reading this book for the first time! I hope you like it. Anne of Green Gables is one of my favourite books of all time, too!

      Re: The cover on the right is beautiful. I love how the trees surround the Blue Castle.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve only read Anne of Green Gables. I didn’t know LMM had written other books. A bad assumption on my part, I know. I kind of like the last cover. The ugly cover you pointed out though. Yeah, I would never have picked that book up lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, she’s written a lot of books! AOGG is my favourite, but I also love her other books. Have you read the entire Anne series? There’s also other series… Emily, the Story Girl, etc. This book is one of her few one-off books. And it’s one of her only two “adult” novels.

      To be honest, if it hadn’t been for the knowledge that The Blue Castle was written by the author of Anne, I would never have picked up this book.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve only read the first 3 in the series lol. I stopped when she and Gilbert got engaged. I was so happy I didn’t want to continue haha. I’ll have to look into more of her books!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ooh! You have to read Anne’s House of Dreams. It’s a wonderful book with some wonderful new characters. And it has a bit of a mystery to boot!

        I also really love Rilla of Ingleside (the final book in the series), which is about Anne’s daughter during WWI. It’s an amazing contemporary account of life on the homefront during the Great War.

        As for the others (Anne of Windy Poplars, Anne of Ingleside) those are mainly a collection of short stories. Especially Anne of Ingleside. They do have their good moments.

        Rainbow Valley (comes before Rilla) is more a story about Anne’s neighbours… The head-in-the-clouds minister and his poor motherless children who are the talk of the community because they like to (oh horrors!) sit and play in the old Methodist graveyard!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. It is kind of an ugly cover, but I am struck more with how it seems to have little to do with the actual plot. It is a great story, though, so it’s awesome you read it after all!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The covers at the bottom of the post look better than the initial one.

    I know what it it is like to “judge a book by its cover”. I had the experience of judging a particular “genre” and eventually realizing it wasn’t so bad after all. All high school kids have to read Shakespeare all four years: the first year, my class was required to read Romeo and Juliet a “Tragedy”. I never heard of the genre, “Tragedy” before. I assumed the genre to be pure sad and nothing else. I really was close-minded to that genre and ignored and told myself I will never love one and each time in school, we read one, I treated each the same way.

    Then something happened. In my college life, Les Misérables became meaningful. It was the musical that taught me that tragedies are not just heartbreaking but so much more: Les Mis for example has hope, love, compassion, forgiveness, humanity, sacrifice, and redemption. I saw the stage show 5 times already and read the unabridged book. I told myself I will never love a tragedy back in high school and I ended up falling in love with one.

    But Les Misérables isn’t the only tragedy I fell in love with. I love the Opera, La Boheme. I love the book, Hunchback of Notre Dame. I love the musical, Rent. So, it is important to not judge a book by its cover.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing this! I totally agreed. We often come to books with preconceived notions, and sometimes we just MISS OUT on some really good stuff.

      I love Les Miserables! It is such a wonderful story, and for all the reasons you mentioned.

      My favourite Shakespearean tragedy is King Lear.


  5. My thoughts went from: “Yeah, that’s pretty ugly” to “Well, not the worst I’ve seen” to “I probably wouldn’t have picked it up though” to “Well, maybe it’s just dated and I would have convinced myself to overlook that.” But, yeah, it does not do the story justice at all. I actually quite like the one on the bottom left, though I’m kind of surprised all of these covers actually have a castle on them. My copy just has people on it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • All the copies I saw for sale in the late 80s and 90s just had people on them. I like how these new covers went back to having a “blue castle” on the front like in the first edition hardback. Even though there’s no actual castle in the story! (I wonder… do people who see the castle on the front get upset when they realize there’s no actual castle?)


    • I hope you are able to find a copy!

      It’s definitely a book by the author of Anne, but it’s different from Anne. It’s one of LMM’s books written for “adults” (there are only two of those). It definitely has some fairy tale elements, though. I just love Valancy Stirling!


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